The terrorist next door [The Arena]

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Late last month, two refugees from Iraq were arrested down the road in Bowling Green, on charges of terrorism.  The criminal complaints and indictment unsealed Tuesday were announced by Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; David J. Hale, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky; Elizabeth A. Fries, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Louisville Division; and the members of the Louisville Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, both former residents of Iraq who currently reside in Kentucky, were charged in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on May 26, 2011. Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against U.S. nationals abroad; distributing information on the manufacture and use of IEDs; attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al Qaeda in Iraq; as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles. Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al Qaeda in Iraq, as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles.

Alwan and Hammadi were arrested on May 25, 2011, on criminal complaints and made their initial appearances Tuesday in federal court in Louisville.  Each faces a potential sentence of life in prison if convicted of all the charges in the indictment.

“Over the course of roughly eight years, Waad Ramadan Alwan allegedly supported efforts to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, first by participating in the construction and placement of improvised explosive devices in Iraq and, more recently, by attempting to ship money and weapons from the United States to insurgents in Iraq. His co-defendant, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, is accused of many of the same activities,” said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

“These arrests were the culmination of extremely well-coordinated, diligent, and tireless efforts by the FBI and our law enforcement partners working on the JTTFs. My thanks to all those who assisted in this case,” said Elizabeth A. Fries, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Louisville Division.   Along with the FBI, the Louisville JTTF is comprised of the following full-time member agencies:

  • Louisville Metro Police
  • Kentucky State Police
  • Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • U.S. Marshals Service

Also assisting were full-time members of the Lexington JTTF, which includes the University of Kentucky Police and Lexington-Fayette County Police. The U.S. Department of Defense also provided assistance in this investigation, as well as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Bowling Green Police Department.

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